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Reallocating hard drive space in Server 2003

I have a new customer who has a f/p server running Win Serv 2003.  Their D:\ partition, which is their data partition, is only like 8GB total.  (Total hard drive space for all partitions is only 27GB).  C:\ drive has about 3GB available.  Would something like Partition Magic be a good solution in this case?  I've never used it on a server.  I am going to buy a larger server SOON, but I need an immediate bandaid NOW!  THanks!
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dwd4243
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dwd4243
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2 Solutions
 
garycaseCommented:
Haven't used PM for this -- but it should work.  I have used Boot-It NG and it works fine -- I'd suggest you download the free demo, create a bootable floppy or CD, and use it  (www.bootitng.com).

If you do that, be SURE you click CANCEL at the 1st prompt (you do not want to install it on the hard drive).   Then just click OK - then Partition Work - and then you can select a partition and resize it.  You'll first want to resize the partition with extra space;  then "Slide" the other partition(s) so the free space is after them; and then Resize the partition you need more space in.   A lot of work to gain a gig or so ... but if you must have it now, this will work.
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rindiCommented:
Partition magic won't work, it is built for workstation OS's only and will refuse to repartition a server! go for bootit-ng like garys above suggests, or acronis diskdirector suite.

http://acronis.com

I'm not sure if your really want to repartition, though. I wouldn't know what you'd repartition there. I think it's better just to add some disk space, disks aren't very expensive.
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garycaseCommented:
... I certainly agree that with the very trivial amount of free space it would be MUCH better to add some additional space here => even if you had to do it with an external device.
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dwd4243Author Commented:
I thought about adding an external h/d, but wouldn't I still have to buy some sort of third party software in order to make the new storage device a part of the current D:\ drive, whereby alleviating my problem (temporarily)?
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rindiCommented:
Maybe you can just use another drive letter and put the data that is used less on that, after all. it is a temporary solution until you get the new server, it may not be worth the extra investment for software. In diskmanagement you can mount the partitions on other drives.
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dwd4243Author Commented:
I thought about that.  The only problem is that the D:\ drive (which is where the main database resides) is only like 7.2GB, and about 6.6GB of that is being occupied by the database.  There really isn't anything else on that drive that can be moved.
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rindiCommented:
What type of database is it? If it is something like SQL, you could use the SQL manager to move it. That should be simple. I do rather suggest not to use an external disk as addon, though. USB devices can sometimes be flacky.
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garycaseCommented:
External does not necessarily mean USB -- an e-SATA device with a controller card would work fine.   And instead of assigning it a drive letter, you could make it dynamic and assign it as a folder on D: ==> thus expanding D: by the size of the drive.   The only downside is it would not be mirrored -- but you could even fix that by adding two drives.
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rindiCommented:
That was what I meant, assigning it as a folder on D. But it looks like he's got the data in the root of D which would complicate things. I agree it could be an external sata drive, but this is probably still an old server and doesn't have that option without adding an extra card.
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garycaseCommented:
... agree -- that's why I said "... with a controller card ..."  :-)
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dwd4243Author Commented:
The database is part of a pretty intricate software app called "Amicus."  It's for law firms.  I'm not sure if it's a fox pro or sql or what.  That is irrevelant really.  I'm just trying to create some space for it.  So, gary, from what you're saying, I could just buy an external drive with a controller card, make it dynamic, and then move the database (currently located at D:\apps\amicus) to the new hard drive....and it would still work?  

I don't have any experience with adding dynamic drives.  So I'm not sure how to go about it.
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garycaseCommented:
I've "played" with dynamic drives with XP -- but not on Server 2003.   I assume they work the same;  but Microsoft COULD have made some changes.

In any event, with dynamic drives, you can create spanned volumes that actually exist across multiple physical drives -- so yes, if you add another drive you can make its space part of the existing drive D:.   What I'm not sure of here is if you can make D: dynamic without making the entire physical "drive" (I presume it's actually a RAID array) dynamic.

After thinking about this a bit more, the safer thing to do is not mess with changing drive types (switching between basic and dynamic disks can cause issues) ==>  just add an eSATA controller card;  an external drive (or two);  and then remap your drive letters so the external drive is D: and your current D: partition is some other letter.   Copy the database to the external drive and you're done.   There IS risk here:  if you only use a single drive you no longer have mirroring (assuming you do now).   The fix for that is to add two external drives and set THOSE as dynamic drives with mirroring.  (software RAID)   There will be a bit of a performance hit, but for a mirrored array it's very nominal (unlike a RAID-5 stripe).

Another alternative -- but this would have much less throughput -- would be to use a network storage device mapped as D: => something like a Buffalo TeraStation.   This would have built-in RAID redundancy; but the access would be a network speeds instead of SATA speeds.   Whether that's an alternative depends on the acess characteristics of the database -- it may slow things down too much.
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pgm554Commented:
Definatly stay away from USB drives.They are flakey and unstable(even the name brands)

I would look at something like:

http://www.adaptec.com/en-US/products/sas/storage/SAS-335/

As for moving the database to the external drive array ,it's a no brainer.
After you move it just change the drive letter to D: in disk admin.

I wouldn't span drives,it is just asking for trouble.
Just move everything over to the external device.
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cvsadminCommented:
the easiest thing to do is to add more drives, in some raid format, mirror or raid5

take all your users offline, unplug the computer from the network.
bring your new raid array online as drive K for example
use robocopy to copy all the information including security context from data drive to K drive,
re drive letter data drive to L
re drive letter K drive to old data drive letter.

You could also try and ghost it, if you have a bart CD with a windows xp kernel, and the windows xp raid drives on CD.

Regards,
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